City of Palm Bay to change how it handles sex offenders

As if it were not hard enough to find a job…

A court victory for the city of Palm Bay means homeowners could be protected from sex offenders working for contractors or delivery companies, city leaders said.

From now on, painters, delivery services or other contractors who come to homes with children must disclose to the homeowner if they employ a sex offender or sexual predator.

“I think any law that protects our children is a good law. And that’s one of them,” Palm Bay resident Hank Crantz said.

“It’s just another level of protection that the city has sought to protect our residents,” former city council member Andy Anderson said.

Homeowner Lisa Velie said she is not comfortable with the new law.

“I feel like I’d just rather not know and just trust that whoever came to my house would be just there to do the work,” she said.

The city passed the law in 2005, but because of a court fight from business owners who said it would hurt their businesses, the law could not go into effect until now, after the city’s court victory.

Bob McClure, who owns a lawn care business in the city, agrees wholeheartedly that businesses like his should disclose whether sex offenders are working at homes where children or vulnerable adults live.

“If you do something to a child, you shouldn’t be rehabbed, and they should do everything possible to keep you in jail,” he said.

The law makes the same requirement for businesses employing sex offenders who work where children congregate. City leaders said they are breaking new ground with this law and they expect other cities to follow suit.

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